Hindus and Sikhs in Britain won a landmark court victory yesterday that will allow mourners to cremate their dead on funeral pyres.(via Normblog)
The Court of Appeal ruling follows a lengthy battle waged by a devout 71-year-old Hindu for the right to be cremated by "sacred fire" according to the ancient diktats of his religion.
Davender Kumar Ghai’s attempt to establish the first approved site in Britain for the 4,000-year-old spiritual ceremony was blocked four years ago by Newcastle City Council, which ruled that human pyres were unlawful.
The local authority’s decision was upheld by the High Court last year, when the Ministry of Justice argued that "a large proportion of the population of the United Kingdom would be upset and offended and would find it abhorrent if human remains were burned on open-air pyres".
That ruling has been overturned by a panel of three Appeal Court judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, who said that existing cremation laws did not prohibit the burning of human remains on a wooden pyre open to natural air and sunlight.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Maybe There Won't Always Be an England
From the February 10th Times (London):